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29th session of the Universal Periodic Review, January 2018

The Botswana government has made progress implementing the recommendations it accepted during its last Universal Periodic Review (UPR) in 2013. The government signed the Safe Schools Declaration in June 2017, an international commitment that provides…
Delegates arrive for the 34th session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, Switzerland, February 27, 2017.
News

Opposition to Withdrawal by States

The African Union made headlines Tuesday for purportedly agreeing to mass withdrawal from the International Criminal Court. The reality is more complex.
 
 The decision by AU member states welcomes the announced withdrawals by South Africa,…
A general view shows the headquarters of the African Union (AU) building in Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa, January 29, 2017.
News

Governments Signal Continued Support for Court

The recent decisions by South Africa, Burundi, and Gambia to leave the International Criminal Court (ICC) are generating wide attention and speculation about a mass exodus from the court by African countries.  But think it’s clear where Africa stands on…
Stella Ndirangu of ICJ Kenya
News

Members Should Reaffirm Support for International Court


 
 
 (Johannesburg) – South Africa’s announced withdrawal from the International Criminal Court (ICC) treaty represents an enormous blow to its commitment to justice for atrocity crimes, Human Rights Watch said today. ICC members…
The Permanent Premises of the International Criminal Court in The Hague, Netherlands.
News

Pushback Against AU Call for Withdrawal

The 27th African Union (AU) summit closed Monday evening without an AU call for immediate mass withdrawal from the International Criminal Court in the face of strong pushback from Nigeria, Senegal, Ivory Coast, Tunisia, and even ICC non-member Algeria,…
A general view shows delegates during the 26th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the African Union (AU) at the AU headquarters in Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa, January 31, 2016.
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Jurist Guest Columnists Anneke Meerkotter of the Southern Africa Litigation Centre and Graeme Reid of Human Rights Watch discuss how recent court rulings in Botswana, Kenya and Zambia illustrate significant progress in human rights in general and in LGBT…
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LGBT Group Allowed to Register

(Nairobi) – The Botswana High Court, in a groundbreaking decision, ruled on November 14, 2014, that members of a lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) rights group could formally register their organization, Human Rights Watch said today. …
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It’s not illegal to be gay in Botswana, but sometimes it must feel like it. Just ask Lesbians, Gays and Bisexuals of Botswana (LEGABIBO), a non-profit group that’s been fighting for a decade to get official standing in the country, a battle that will come…
News

Abuses Intensify in Zimbabwe Against Rights Defenders and Political Activists

(Johannesburg) - The Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) should publicly press President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe and his party to end their harassment and arbitrary arrests of civil society activists and political opponents, Human Rights Watch…
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Civil Society Letter to the Ministries of Foreign Affairs of African ICC States Parties on the UN Security Council

Sent March 1, 2011 Your Excellencies, We, the undersigned organizations, urge your government to reconsider support for a United Nations Security Council deferral of investigations and prosecutions of the International Criminal Court (ICC) in Kenya…
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How to keep foreign dictators from living large in the U.S.

In sunny Malibu a real estate agent named Neal Baddin helps the playboy son of one of the world's most corrupt leaders buy a $30 million mansion. Teodoro Nguema Obiang lives off money taken from the coffers of Equatorial Guinea, a tiny but oil-rich…
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Senators’ Investigation Follows the Hidden Money Trail from Foreign Kleptocrats

(Washington, DC) - The Obama administration should adopt recommendations in a report issued today to help stop the flow of stolen money into the United States, Human Rights Watch said. The report is the result of a detailed investigation by Senators Carl…
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Southern African Leaders Should Urge End to Politically Motivated Abuses

(Johannesburg) - Southern African leaders should press Zimbabwe's power-sharing government to end ongoing human rights violations and to implement legal reforms, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. Heads of state from members of the…
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Respect for the rule of law is one of the founding principles of the African Union (AU). It should therefore come as no surprise that African states make up the largest regional membership bloc of the International Criminal Court (ICC), whose mission is…
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For years now, women’s groups in Southern Africa have campaigned tirelessly to ensure that the Southern African Development Community adopt the Protocol on Gender and Development. Yesterday, the SADC finally took that historic step. Member states will be…